December 5, 2016 - 11:17am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Patrick Reed
USA Today Sports Images
Ryder Cups produce loads of great moments. Here are 15 of our favorites from the Ryder Cup USA victory at Hazeltine in 2016.

It's a bummer that the Ryder Cup is played only once every two years.

Thanks to all the highlights the matches produce, however, I think it's fair to say there's enough to look back on to hold us over for 24 months. Don't you think?

With the year winding down, we figured it was a great chance to look back at the incredible week that was at the end of September-beginning of October in Chaska, Minn., at Hazeltine National, which saw Ryder Cup USA win for the first time since 2008.

The matches had countless great moments, but here are 15 of our absolute favorites.

RELATED: Relive the 2016 Ryder Cup | Get your Ryder Cup USA Champions gear!

15. The American heckler who drained a putt in Thursday's practice round and taking $100 off Justin Rose in the process. We'd never condone heckling on the course (unless you're with buddies -- then it's encouraged), but this was all in good fun. We're not saying the putt the spectator made here set the tone for the USA at Hazeltine, but we're not saying it didn't either.

 

 

14. The atmosphere on the first tee. What a spectacle. Thousands of fans filling the stands, lining the ropes and singing, cheering and chanting all week long. It was fantastic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. The Arnold Palmer remembrance wall attached to the merchandise tent and his bag from 1975 on the first tee. Sadly, Ryder Cup week began just as we learned that the King passed away on Sept. 25 at the age of 87. Both teams, as well as fans, made sure the King's spirit was remembered throughout Ryder Cup week. All of it was such a nice touch -- especially the aforementioned wall where those on site could leave a personal message to Palmer... The wall also traveled to New York for the PGA of America's Annual Meeting in mid-November.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, onto particular shots and reactions we loved.

12. Brandt Snedeker fired up. You don't see Sneds like this every week.

 

 

 

 

11. The USA's Friday morning, opening session sweep -- something that hadn't been done in a Ryder Cup since 1975... when Arnold Palmer was the captain (which made this extra special).

 

 

10. When Spieth and Reed removed their hats and placed their right hand over their heart as fans serenaded them with the National Anthem right in the middle of a match. How cool was that?

 

 

9. Bubba Watson's post-win interview. It wouldn't be far-fetched to call the omission of Watson on the USA team a "snub." He was the No. 7-ranked player in the world and did not receive any of Captain Davis Love III's four captain's picks. Instead of moping about it, Watson asked to be a vice captain so he could help the team in any capacity that was needed. He lived up to those words. And he gave a touching interview after the victory for a guy who probably should have deserved to be playing that week instead of driving a golf cart around.

 

 

8. Matt Kuchar's long birdie putt at the par-3 13th hole in Saturday afternoon's Fourballs session. The putt. The reaction. Awesome.

 

 

7. Spieth's, "that's really good, guys" call of an approach shot he hit first thing Saturday morning in the foursomes session. I guess he knew.

 

 

6. Spieth's reaction to pretty much everything his partner, Reed, was doing throughout the week... including this one on No. 7 Saturday.

 

 

5. Reed's hole-out on No. 6 Saturday and the ensuing celebration. Should Reed not qualify for a team on points in the next 10 years, I'm pretty sure he locked up his captain's pick based on his 2014 and 2016 performances. Just off the charts good.

 

 

Let's keep the Reed trend rolling...

4. Reed and Rory McIlroy's epic Sunday singles match. Most notably, the two trading birdies and antics at No. 8.

 

 

3. Reed's 1-up win over McIlroy in that singles match to secure the first point for the USA in the Sunday singles. Reed wanted Europe's best player. He got him. And he beat him.

 

 

2. The Mickelson/Sergio Garcia halved singles match. In all, it saw a mind-blowing 19 birdies made between the pair in 18 holes, including this one from Mickelson on No. 18 (his 10th of the day) to secure the halve.

 

 

1. The USA celebration. Pretty sweet that the decisive point for the USA was secured by Ryan Moore, an 11th hour captain's pick. And, when you haven't won since 2008, the celebration is going to be special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 of our favorite Ryder Cup moments
December 5, 2016 - 8:35am
matthew.craig's picture
michael phelps
USA Today Sports Images
These celebrities may be the brightest stars in their profession, but that doesn't always lead to success on the golf course.

If there's one thing that people in the United States and across the world love, it's celebrity. We seem to always want to know what famous people are up to.

But if there's one thing that celebrities have proven to love themselves, it's golf. Every year the biggest stars of sport and screen are seen teeing it up around the globe, to varying degrees of success.

Here's a list of the best moments from celebrities on the golf course in 2016:

7. Steph Curry, Justin Timberlake, and Alfonso Ribeiro show off their dance moves at the American Century Championship. San Francisco's well-attended celebrity golf tournament in July also included Aaron Rodgers, Jim Harbaugh, Charles Barkley, Brian Urlacher and more, but Timberlake and Curry definitely were the headliners for the raucus crowd. Curry recreated his famous mouthpiece-throw from the NBA Finals before he was joined by Timberlake and Ribeiro to do the signature "Carlton dance" from Ribeiro's character on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

 

6. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Willie Robertson, Kevin Nealon and more compete to smash panes of glass. If you're not a celebrity, one of the main goals in a round of golf is avoiding breaking anything. Alas, the benefits of fame. A long list of celebrities including actors, comedians, and more than a few professional athletes competed to see who could break a pane of glass in the fewest number of shots. 

 

5. The Chicago Cubs playing Pebble Beach in August before their World Series run. I'm not going to give the Cubs playing golf together full credit for their postseason success, but it does seem to be an interesting coincidence doesn't it? Either way, there aren't too many chemistry-building exercises more fun than playing Pebble Beach together. Oh, and nice hat Rizzo!

 

4. Michael Phelps, Bill Murray, Rob Riggle, Kurt Russell and more play at Ryder Cup celebrity match. Phelps became a golfing legend in 2012 with this 159 foot putt at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, but four years and five Olympic gold medals later Phelps was back in the golfing spotlight during Ryder Cup week. Phelps, Murray, Riggle, and Russell led the United States celebrity team to a victory over a European celebrity team that included Niall Horan and Martina Navratilova.

 

3. Yao Ming displaying the longest golf swing in the world. Yao showed off his golf swing at the Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am in Shenzhen, China, alongside LPGA star Natalie Gulbis. Standing at 7 foot 6 inches tall with a pitching wedge that's one inch longer than the average driver, Yao packs quite a punch on the course.

 

Yao Ming swing! He needed breakfast ball can we all relate to that! #missionhills #china

A video posted by Natalie Gulbis (@nataliegulbis) on

 

What Yao lacks in golf skill, he more than makes up for in picture-posing. He took some time at the event to make golfing legends Gary Player and John Daly look miniature.

 

2. Harold Varner III beating Steph Curry at his own game. If I just asked you out of the blue which scenario was more likely, Curry beating Varner III at golf or Varner III beating Curry at basketball, very few people would pick the second option. But during October's Safeway Open Pro-Am in Napa, California, Varner III did just that. From DEEP!

 

1. Alex Ovechkin and Eugeny Kuznetsov's long putt and ridiculous celebration. The NHL superstars were out and playing in October when Ovechkin showed the world exactly why he's a hockey player and not a professional golfer. This swing off the tee is...less than ideal

 

While he struggled, his teammate Kuznetsov showed off a deep bomb on the extra-slow greens.

 

Well until next year, we'll keep loving celebrities, and they'll keep loving golf.

 

Best of celebrities playing golf in 2016
December 4, 2016 - 3:34pm
matthew.craig's picture
John rahm, vine golf
Vine / PGA Pappas
From the spectacular to the absurd, Vine has been there to document the highlights and lowlights of golfers everywhere.

On the surface, golf and Vine may seem like polar opposites.

Golf is a game to be enjoyed over the course of several hours, drawing on hundreds of years of tradition. Vine is to be consumed six seconds at a time, not requiring any preexisting knowledge or experience.

But in this case, opposites attract. For years the video platform has documented the most hilarious and impressive moments in golf, on and off the course. Since Vine is going away, we thought it was appropriate to round up the 11 greatest Vines of all time. Enjoy.

11. What makes a great golf vine? First and foremost it has to be entertaining. Bonus points for being authentic and embarrassing, like we see here.

 

10. Other times you start out trying to make one kind of Vine, and it turns out far different than you planned. Also, I've noticed that laughing in the Vine always makes it more funny.

 

9. If "funny" isn't down your alley, don't worry. Vine is the home of the greatest trick shot artists in the world. Or any kid in the back yard with some skill and a lot of spare time.

 

8. Sometimes you just need to be observant. When you're watching golf on television, and you see something as ridiculous as a marshall trying to quiet down a train by raising his arms, you've struck Vine gold.

 

7. You've really got something if you can put into a Vine an emotion that all golfers, from PGA Tour pros to weekend warriors, can relate to. I would laugh if I wasn't relating so closely with what he was feeling.

 

6. In order to make a popular Vine, you can't just make a simple three foot putt. You should probably aim, say, forty feet left?

 

5. Physics? Those don't apply when you're in the Vine-making business.

 

4. Who says a golf Vine has to take place on a golf course? Or even outside for that matter? But fair warning: you may end up breaking things.

 

3. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that professional golfers are just like us. There has never been, in the history of golf, a more perfect marriage than this shot and protracer technology.

 

2. Always remember to leave the high-performance stunt to top level athletes like Adam Sandler.

 

1. And most of all, always, ALWAYS, protect yourself.

 

The 11 greatest golf vines of all time
December 4, 2016 - 3:23pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
In a roller coaster of a final round at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods finished with a 4-over 76 in his first tournament in 466 days.

Tiger Woods has always taken pride in his ability to grind throughout a round.

Even after making his first competitive start in 15 months, that "grinder" mentality was alive and well this week at the Hero World Challenge... especially in a trying final round on Sunday.

Woods shot a 4-over-par 76 at Albany on the last day of the tournament he hosts (73-65-70-76, 4-under 284) -- his worst score of the week -- in a roller coaster of a round that saw him make five birdies, three bogeys, seven pars and three double bogeys. He finished the 17-player tournament (it was 18 until Justin Rose withdrew due to injury on Friday) in 15th place.

Woods got his third round off to a blistering start on Saturday with four birdies in his first five holes. Sunday, meanwhile, was quite the contrast. After pars at his first four holes, Woods went bogey, double-bogey on Nos. 5 and 6.

RELATED: Hero World Challenge leaderboard | Two unique shots from Tiger | Spieth's eagle pitch in

Ever the competitor, Woods erased those three shots he gave back to par with three straight birdies.

Just when it seemed as though he might get something going, Woods backed up the three consecutive birdies with a bogey at No. 10 and a double bogey at No. 11 to get back to 3 over for the round. A bogey on No. 12 made it 4 over for the day.

Woods collected birdies at Nos. 14 and 15 to claw back to 2 over for the day, but gave all that hard work back on the 18th with his third double bogey of the week on that hole.

Though it may not reflect in the final results, in a week where no one knew what to expect from the 79-time PGA Tour winner and 14-time major champion -- including the man himself -- it was most certainly a step in the right direction for Woods. His 24 birdies this week were the most in the field... as were his six double bogeys.

Now he has something to build on. We most likely won't see Woods in competition again until the Farmers Insurance at Torrey Pines, Jan. 26-29.

Here are some highlights from Tiger's final round:

Gotta love the immediate club twirl on the first tee.

 

 

Here's Tiger's bounce-back birdie at No. 7 after a double bogey on No. 6:

 

 

Tiger's third birdie in a row at No. 9:

 

 

Here's a collection of social media reaction to Tiger from Sunday:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
How Tiger fared on Sunday
December 4, 2016 - 2:56pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Jordan Spieth
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Jordan Spieth holed a tremendous pitch shot in the final round of the Hero World Challenge on Sunday for an unlikely eagle.

Jordan Spieth moved himself up the leaderboard in fashion at the Hero World Challenge on Sunday.

At the par-5 15th hole, Spieth had a remarkable pitch in from an awkward lie for eagle.

Check it out:

That eagle moved Spieth into a tie for third at the time at 12 under with Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler. 

Jordan Spieth climbs leaderboard with eagle pitch in
December 4, 2016 - 2:20pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Brooks Koepka
@PGATOUR on Twitter
Known mostly for his long game, Ryder Cup USA team member showed us on Sunday at the Hero World Challenge that his short game isn't so bad either.

Brooks Koepka is most well-known for his remarkable long game.

On Sunday at the Hero World Challenge, though, he flashed some brilliance with his short game.

Playing his third shot from a greenside bunker at the par-4 16th hole at Albany, Koepka went ahead and did this:

 

 

Birdies like that will work.

The shot moved Koepka to 7 under for the tournament. He won't win, but dinner will taste a little better with a shot like that.

Brooks Koepka holes out from bunker